Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, told Catholic News Agency at an interview he gave at the Pontifical North American College in Rome that dealing effectively with the clerical sex abuse crisis and a thorough reform of the Roman Curia should be two top priorities that cardinal-electors consider when thinking of who the next Supreme Pontiff might be. “The new Pope will also need to face the sexual abuse crisis that is really worrying our people,” O’Malley said in the interview published yesterday. His Eminence also said that the conclave needs to be like “the novena before Pentecost,” and that the faithful around the world should pray for the College of Cardinals and for the conclave.
The emphasis on the need for prayer has been re-enforced by the decision of the General Congregation to hold a public Eucharistic adoration and Vespers service tomorrow at 5:00 pm Rome time. Such a public expression of prayer at St. Peter’s Basilica approaching a conclave is unprecedented in the sense that the service is being billed as a way for the entire Church to come together in prayer, whether at St. Peter’s or in other places around the world to gather for the universal prayer of the Church as such an important decision will be made in the days and weeks ahead for the future life of the Church.